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Bendy returns, My Hero Academia Movie Premiere + Knives Out Sequel Announced

Headlines for the week of February 3, 2020 to February 8, 2020.

Continue reading “Bendy returns, My Hero Academia Movie Premiere + Knives Out Sequel Announced”

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (Review)

[This review was contributed by (AF).]

Following the (2017) 47 Meters Down theatrical release, the sequel, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged centers around four high school girls that take an adventure into the underwater Mayan City burial site in Mexico. Through some missteps and bad choices, they soon find themselves being hunted by great white sharks that have adapted to their cave-like surroundings. 

Continue reading “47 Meters Down: Uncaged (Review)”

Opinion: The trouble with some remakes and reboots

It seems like a lot of properties are being redone in entertainment. From television shows like 90210 to anime like Fruits Basket, and pretty much any film. I understand that technology is better now, the production value is much better, and there may even still be stories left to tell. But, there are two main problems that I have with remakes and reboots. I’ve kindly listed them below.

Not extraordinary

More often than not, when you see a movie or a show that is being remade it’s going to be underwhelming. Especially if you remember the original fondly. I ask you to think about any live-action Disney remake of a 1990’s movie. Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King were all blockbuster properties in the ’90s and still hold memories for many people. But the live-action remakes leave something to be desired.

Most recently, Disney released the Lion King and it did great at the box office. However, the Lion King didn’t add anything to the experience. In my honest opinion, the Lion King is an epic story. However, Disney’s remake left a lot to be desired. There was no facial motion capture for the lions, which made it hard for the actions to convey emotion. In the cartoons, the animation sold the emotion as well as vocal performance. That was sorely missing in the 2019 version.

But, Maleficent is actually a really go re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty. It reinvents the characters in an exciting way and opens up the lore and the world the way the animated version never could because Maleficent is an evil queen.

Overdone

Sometimes the property is overdone. For instance, Spider-Man is walking that fine line of being overused. However, Sony’s partnership with Marvel created a new life for the character. The Avengers is such an epic story that it helped reinvent the way we identify Peter Parker. We now have a connection to him through Tony Stark a beloved character and that allows us as viewers to invest in Parker’s story moving forward in the MCU.

But let’s look at X-men. Sony released movies spanning back to 2000 and just relinquished ownership of the property with Dark Phoenix. After all of the lightweight reboots within the series, there was nothing to care about and no character besides Charles Xavier and Magneto to invest in.

Another movie that has been overdone is Batman. We had great movies spanning from 1989 to 1997 (even though they all had different actors playing Bruce Wayne), The Christopher Nolan series from 2005 to 2012 was excellent, and then the DCEU launched with Batman vs. Super and had nothing spectacular to add.

How many times can you reboot a property before enough is enough?

However, sometimes things work out. Let’s look at the anime, Dororo. Dororo re-imagined an entire series. It was adapted from manga to an anime in 1964, then made into a live-action property in 2007. Now, with its remake in 2019, it is one of the best anime’s released this year.

The series looks and feels completely different from its 1964 predecessor. Dororo has a personality of its own and draws in an entirely new audience that didn’t know it existed. I wrote a full review of it discussing how it is the best remake I’ve experienced in recent history.

I understand that there is a market begging for remade and rebooted properties. However, I just wish the concepts were looked at realistically so that the final product is amazing. Plus, everything doesn’t need to be remade. There are plenty of original properties waiting to be released.

But that’s just my opinion.

Is Hobbs and Shaw the next generation of Fast & Furious? (review)

I’ve heard mixed reviews about The Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw. At first, I wasn’t going to watch it. In my humble opinion, the Fast and Furious franchise is nearing the end of its life and should have left me crying when Brian O’Conner road off into the sunset.

However, I understand that some people don’t share that opinion and are excited to expand the Fast and Furious franchise. That brings up to Hobbs and Shaw.

I am very surprised that in this movie, there are no character cameos from other Fast and Furious movies. I would of at least expected Vin Diesel to be around in some form. But there were no winks to the other characters in Fast and Furious even existing in this world.

That being said, it was an entertaining movie. At times it felt like this movie was based on Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson life and they just added a little fiction to throw viewers off the scent.

Winks to ‘the people’s eyebrow’, mentions of clanging and banging, eating a huge stack of pancakes on a cheat day, and going back to Samoa. It all seems very Dwayne Johnson. However, Shaw’s (Jason Statham) character was pretty straight forward.

The best part of the movie may have been the one-liners. They were terrible at times but funny. Plus, we were treated to cameos from Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart. And, the funniest scene of the movie had to be the moment when Hobbs and Shaw were infiltrating the lair of the big bad and had to use the enemies face to gain access.

Moments from this scene were used in the trailer, but I legitimately belly laughed through the entire scene.

So what about the story?

Shaw’s sister (Hattie) is in MI6 and transporting a dangerous virus that could wipe out the world. Brixton (Idris Alba), a former mate of Shaw’s, attacks her unit to retrieve the virus for the big bad but fails because Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) injects the virus in herself to prevent him from getting it.

Hattie becomes a person of interest because the narrative is that she stole the virus and killed her unit. Hobbs and Shaw are deployed by their agencies to catch her and rectify the situation.

They end up meeting with a Russian scientist who tells them how to remove the virus. But the technology gets broken in an effort to escape the lair of the big bad. They end up going to Samoa because Hobbs’ brother is a tech genius. He fixes the machine and begins the virus extraction just in time for the enemies to attack the village.

There is a huge fight scene and a car chase which brings Hobbs, Shaw, Hattie, and Brixton face to face in a final battle. Brixton ends up losing even though technically he should have one. The big bad fries his brain, he falls off a cliff, and the heroes save the day.

Sequel and Fast & Furious Future

I’ve heard there will be a sequel to this movie. That makes sense because we never find out who Brixton’s boss is. Plus, I hated the way Idris’ character went out. Perhaps Brixton will come back as an ally in the next movie. It’s happened before in the franchise.

The movie is an action blockbuster. It did what it was supposed to do. It gave us an action-packed movie with funny moments. In my opinion, it hasn’t captured the magic of the original series. But, if Fast & Furious is finishing up, maybe Hobbs and Shaw’s buddy relationship will be a good replacement.

Opinion: 3 reasons Shazam! should be a TV series moving forward

Last week I finally got around to watching Shazam! It was an entertaining movie that had its campy moments, but overall it was a solid story with pretty good character development. Especially with the main character, Bill Batson.

Click for the full review here

After I watched Shazam! I started thinking about if Billy Batson joined the ranks of Barry Allen, Oliver Queen, and all of the other DC Legends. It would be a great way to get more out of the character Shazam! were a television series.

Think this over with me.

Character Development

In my movie review, I expressed that young Billy Batson was more interesting than Shazam Billy Batson. In a TV series, Billy could evolve as a teenager as he adjusts to life with his new family. The story could pick up where it left off at the end of the movie. It may be a could idea to retcon his siblings getting powers or just making them dormant until the season finale. Concentrating on Billy’s character would be the best.

From the superhero perspective, Billy could learn the ropes of what it means to be the savior of his city. Especially since apparently, he knows Superman now. It wouldn’t be so unbelievable that Shazam would know the Flash and the other just like in the comics.

Comedy

Most of the CW shows have some form of comedic relief in them. Billy Batson as Shazam and his brother Freddy brought a lot of funny moments to the movie. It would be a waste not to put them in more situations together.

The adventures that he’d be able to go on with his brother as a superhero and as his teenage self would give episodes of entertainment.

Gimmick Suit

If Shazam is a television character, I think I would be able to get around the suit. I was critical of the suit in my review of the movie. I felt the suit looked very campy and bulky off of Zachary Levi. However, he could get away with that suit if it was a television production.

This could be a stretch, but honestly, I think that the Shazam character could benefit from having weekly episodic adventures. The Flash has a new lifespan due to his TV run on the CW. Weekly stories would allow us to get to know the other siblings better, flush out Billy Batson as a character, and build his story for a new audience.

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